New writers: Get your 1st draft in the best shape possible

When your done your first draft of your first book what happens next?

One should have a group of beta readers and critiquers to help you flush out what needs to be fixed in your manuscript. If you think your first draft is gold, that it’s 100% correct and it needs no revisions you are living in a fantasy world.

Time and time again I’ve reviewed for authors and companies and I run across a book that is riddled with grammatical errors, loopholes, weak characters, weak plots and that is just the beginning.

You work so hard on getting this done but writing is the easy part. I remember when someone told me that and in my naiveness I thought, “Yeah, right.”

Yeah, right. They were so right.

You are not going to get it correct all the way through on the first try. Revisions after revisions are in your future, if you want your book to do well, that are needed to get it in the best possible shape you can.

If you are new, and even not a new author, and can not find beta readers or a critique group in your area go online. There are host and host of groups that are willing to help you. If that is not your cup of tea than start your own group.

For if you plan on submitting your manuscript to publishers you are giving them an easy way to say no and toss it in the slush pile. They get thousands and thousands of submissions. Don’t make it easy for them to reject you.

Get it done the proper way. Your book will thank you for it.

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Unfamiliarize yourself with your WIP

How do you unfamiliarize yourself from your WIP? It was not a term I had heard before when it came to revising my works. But apparently this is a thing and not only a thing but I took a class on it this past Saturday at the writers conference.

When you hear what I am about to write some you will nod and think I knew that one like I did. Some, I did not.

Here we go:

– read your work out loud or have someone read it to you out loud.

– change the font of your work

– change the title of your work a number of ways

– change the gender of your main character

– change the pronoun

– try a new opening

It does not drastically change your WIP but it makes you view it as different in comparison to one that you have read a thousand times before. You know what I mean? You know it so well you skip over lines, words and things that need to be edited just because you are so familiar with it.

The class was amazing and the instructor as well. When he informed us we had 10 minutes left so it was time for questions I was bummed out that it had gone by that quickly.

I believe I will try some of what I learn in hopes of improving my WIPs from now on in hopes it makes it shine more. For after all that is the whole point of revisions which is to make your work shine as much as possible.